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Tuesday, January 31

Monday, January 30

Saturday, January 28

Friday, January 27

January 27, 2012

I love to watch raptors fly in the sky...

Soar with their wings...

Glide on the wind.

They are so powerful.

I was so excited when I captured this photo of the red tailed hawk, a long while back. I just happened to be passing by my favorite hawk watching spot - when there it was. Just sitting on the power line.  I had  my camera with me - so I stopped on the side of the road and walked right under where it was - to snap a few (you know me better than that - it was more like a hundred) shots of this powerful bird.

I remember being very frightened. Hawks are scary. They attack. They can hurt you, if you get in their way. This one was watching me very closely. I felt exposed. I felt vulnerable. When I got back in the car I felt safe again. Funny how that bird - less than half the size of me, could create such fear.

Fear can be overwhelming, but only when we allow ourselves to be so open to it. Only when we keep our eyes, and hearts and minds focused on it and not on God.

So, what happens when we put our eyes back on God? What happens when we are totally focused on His power to overcome that which is so overwhelming to us?

We see that He IS the one in control. He is the ALL POWERFUL Creator and Redeemer.
     Remember Jeremiah 32:17 
            "There is nothing that You (talking about God) cannot do!"

Praying today - that each one of us will remember who has the power and strength.
Praying that we will keep our eyes and hearts and minds focused on Him and His desires and hopes for us. Praying that He WILL open the eyes of our hearts and allow us to see Him as He overcomes all that which concerns us.

Thursday, January 26

January 26, 2012

The Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic.
We took an evening dinner cruise on the Die Moldau River (or Vlatava in Czech).
It was gorgeous!

Unfortunately my night time photos tend to be a bit blurred, but I just loved the shadows and light as they play together in this shot.

The next day we walked on that bridge.

Such sweet memories!

The quote is similar to many I have been posting of late. Going thru some rough times and I am striving to stay focused on God and depend on Him to bring us through.

Wednesday, January 25

January 25, 2012

Even when we are cold, and lonely and overburdened, feeling all alone . . .

He is there.

Waiting . . . with open arms.

Tuesday, January 24

Monday, January 23

Friday, January 20

January 20, 2012

I don't get too many photos of the night sky, you know ... problems with lighting.

But I came across the quote this morning, while reading January 20th Streams in the Desert Devotional.

Blessed is the Night, For it reveals the stars.

Without the darkness, we would never see the beauty of the stars.
Without the rain and storm clouds, we would never see the beauty of a rainbow.

And without struggles and fears and hard times - we may never see how God can work in our lives.

Have you heard that quote, "You talking to me??" Well I feel as though today's devotion was aimed right at me for this place and time in my life.

They are planning the budget for our next school year. They say the cuts will be worse than last year. I am VERY near the bottom. I am asking for God to be faithful to His word that says, "God will provide all I need."

Worry and fear are my companions these days.

But my heart wants to sing,  Blessed be Your Name God - in good times, in bad times, in all times. You are in control. There is joy to be found in all circumstances. Help me to see it. Help me to trust you. Help me to keep my eyes on You.

Link to today's "Streams in the Desert"

Thursday, January 19

January 19, 2012

They say history repeats it self (The Fall of Rome).

Why do we as a nation think like teenagers?

We need to listen to those who have gone before and learned from mistakes.

Wednesday, January 18

Tuesday, January 17

January 17, 2012

Oh these words are so true! I spent the night in restless wakefulness, worrying!
This morning I feel like a wet washcloth dripping with exhaustion.

When will I learn, that God is in control . . .
He knows what is best . . .
I need to accept each day as it comes and lean on Him for strength in all things.

This morning I pray that God will allow me to see His power and strength in all things today. That I will look around and be observant to Him in everything I do, think and say.
That I will praise Him for His faithfulness and love for us all.

I pray the same for you!

Thursday, January 12

January 12, 2012

I missed my first post of the year, yesterday. It was a crazy day - as I had my 4th and 5th grade choruses performing in their winter concert. They had two performances yesterday, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Add the stress of that to regular everyday life, yesterday was a doozie!

But the concert was wonderful. I am SOOOO pleased with both my groups performances. My younger students  have a long way to go - but the progress they have made in just the last 2 weeks is wonderful. I was very pleased with their performances yesterday.

The words in the photo above are from one of their songs, by Natalie Sleeth.

Life is very much about the journey, not only about the destination. Little steps, bit by bit ... I have to keep reminding myself!

I am so proud of my students and how they worked and came together yesterday.
Oh, I love my job!!

And it is days like yesterday when I see my kids coming to my rescue that I am also very thankful for my kids. My middle son - stepped up for me yesterday and took care of some of the taxi driving of my youngest. (There are positives to having kids who drive). I had a meeting between work and the concert and so he picked the youngest up from basketball, brought him home to shower, and then got him up to the high school so Jake could video tape the performance for me, and then get to football practice. AND my tall middle son - who loves to wear his hair over his eyes and past his jaw . . .  go it all cut off yesterday!!

Oh my goodness . .  he looks wonderful! I am hoping he lets me post a photo over at Composition-Life.

Little by little . .

Tuesday, January 10

January 10, 2012

It is just like us, to get caught up in the day to day, always thinking about the present, often forgetting to think about the future, the days to come.

I know - I have posted many quotes that say "live one day at a time," and "Yesterday is gone, today is a gift,"  among others - but this thought from CS Lewis encouraged me to think again.

We are eternal beings. We are Souls, living in a land temporarily, in temporary bodies that are loaned to us, for use here. But it is the depth of our being, the very center of our thoughts and minds that display who we are.

So, looking at it that way - that each one of us is a soul . . . temporarily living life here - does that create a desire to change who you are and how you live, and what is important to you?

It surely makes me want to rethink my day to day choices and how they will reflect eternity for my soul and the souls around me.

Monday, January 9

January 9, 2012

I never paid much attention to the berries that grow on the bushes in the fall. The leaves all drop off - as the snow arrives and the berries remain. I love seeing the birds feast off of the bounty, God provides for them.

Saturday, January 7

Friday, January 6

January 6, 2012

Jim Elliot, a life we all need to be familiar with.

He wrote these words, before he died, trying to bring the gospel to the Auca Indians, sometimes known as the "Worst People on Earth".

3 years after his death, his wife and the wives of the other missionaries who were murdered, were instrumental in completing the task.

As the new year begins, I look into myself, and wonder . . . what am I struggling to hold on to, that perhaps, I need to let go of?

Thursday, January 5

January 5, 2012

Can you tell that I love the cardinals. I photograph them whenever they are in the yard or at the feeders. They are so beautiful and bright.

I came across this quote by Tozer - it made me pause.

So very true. I brag and brag about my children, they are my life. They are close to my heart.

I say that I am nothing without God, and yet I find myself keeping thoughts to myself, at times. As  I think back, I don't brag too much about Him.

I need to change that.

Wednesday, January 4

January 4, 2012

You can turn the music off at the bottom left of the page.

I have written it many times in the past.
We all know the saying (and perhaps the song).
One day at a time.

I actually like to make the increments a little smaller.
One moment at a time.

Before I open my mouth . . . I need to pray for wisdom.
Before I leap into action . . . I need to pray for perseverance.

I remember a 'forward' I received in an email once - that has wedged a place in my mind. I am not sure I remember it correctly, but the jist of it was something about a new fence at the back of the yard, and a young boy going out and hammering nails all over the fence. Dad came out and was very angry. The boy said, "I'm sorry" and proceeded to pull all the nails out. The apology was accepted, the nails were removed, but there was deep wounding of the fence. There were holes all over. It was scarred.

Our actions and words can have a deep impact. They often can leave scars.

Moments past are over and done,  we cannot change them.
An hour from now, we have no idea where we will be or what we will be doing.
But this moment right now - we can live, we can choose, we can pray to have a lasting and positive impact on those around us.

And in this moment right now, that is what I am praying for.

Tuesday, January 3

January 3, 2012

In the past I have really enjoyed reading, "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers. I have decided to use it again this year as my devotional - and have found it online:  DEVOTIONAL BY O. CHAMBERS (click words).

Something about his writing that really makes me think.  This morning's devotion brought to mind the song by Point of Grace called "God, Forbid"

Today at the forefront of my mind - I will be thinking about how casually do I approach God.

Monday, January 2

January 2, 2012

To turn off music, you will find the music player at the bottom left side

I am so impatient.

In this instantaneous world of self gratification, I find I expect to get what I want, when I want it.

As a parent - that is how we raise our children. They are taught to obey the first time. They did what I demanded, the first time. As toddlers, they did. There were consequences when they didn't. I always made sure to follow through.

But as teens, they found out they have a choice and they don't think about the consequences much.

As an adult, I find that I don't think about the consequences too much, until it is too late.

This immediate internet that I carry wherever I go, movies on demand, music at my fingertips, out of season food in my fridge world that we live in overrides the lessons I received as a child.

"Good things come to those who wait."

I used to jokingly say, "Patience is a virtue, that I do not have."

My mother always said,  "Don't pray for patience, because then God will allow for situations to occur, so that you can develop it."

But when we take the time - to sit back, and wait . . . we see God move.

He is there waiting for us . . .

We need to be there . . .  waiting and expecting - Him.

Sunday, January 1

January 1, 2012

Every day I see us moving further and further away from the respect and sense of awe I had 'at church' when I was growing up.

Culture keeps stepping in. Reverence is disappearing.

The response is . . . " but we need to reach people where they are."

My question then becomes, "But if we keep becoming more and more like the world -
Who is left to become more and more like God?"

If I make one resolution this year, it is this -
To be Christlike in everything I do, say, and think.
God's word speaks for itself. I  don't need to bait a hook to draw someone to Christ. God does that all by Himself. I just need to be there to represent Him.

I have failed miserably at that. With His help, I sure hope to do better this year.